How to Refurbish Your Cabinets

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Are you tired of your kitchen’s old cabinets? Try your hand at refurbishing them yourself! It’s as easy as removing cabinet doors, removing stain and repainting. This is one DIY project that you would be crazy not to tackle yourself. Just like staining wooden floors, refurbishing cabinets only sounds harder than it is!

What you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Paint stripper
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood putty and wood putty knife
  • Wood conditioner (if cabinets are wood)
  • Stain or paint
  • Primer
  • Vacuum
  • Cleaning materials
  • Towel/cloth

Step 1: Remove old cabinet doors

Using your screwdriver, remove the cabinet doors and associated hardware from the hinges. If your cabinet has drawers inside, remove them as well and place with the doors for refurbishing. Also remove the handles from your doors. Use your vacuum to suck up any debris and give the inside of the cabinet a thorough clean. Be sure to wipe off any smudges or dirt from your cabinet doors.

Step 2: Repair and update cabinets

If your cabinets have any major damage, like deep gashes, holes or dents, use the wood putty to fill them in. If you can, use putty that is the same colour you plan to paint or stain to avoid obvious wear and tear to your cabinets. If the cabinets hold smaller items, like spices or bottles, install a lazy-susan or drawers to make organising easier. There’s no use in updating the outside if the inside is still a mess!

Step 3: Strip paint or stain

Using a paint stripper, remove the old paint or stain from your cabinets and cabinet doors and drawers. If you don’t have a paint stripper, sand off the old paint or stain using sandpaper or a professional grade sander. Both options will work. Once the paint and stain has been removed, use a damp towel or cloth to wipe away any debris or loose pieces left by the removal process.

Step 4: Repaint, re-stain and let dry

If you are choosing to stain your cabinets, apply the stain by rubbing it into the wood using an old rag or sponge. To give the cabinets the most natural look, apply the stain in even strokes going with the grain of the wood. Allow the first coat of stain to dry completely before you apply a second coat. Once your second coat of stain has been applied and has dried, you’ll need to apply a coat of polyurethane, which will help protect the stain from fading or water damage. Repeat the same process with the doors.

*Pro Tip

If you plan to paint, apply a solid coat of primer before you apply your coloured paint. Use a soft bristle brush and paint in even, parallel brush strokes to avoid a sloppy look. Let your paint dry before you apply a second coat.

Step 5: Update cabinet hardware

Be sure your cabinet doors are completely dry before you replace the handles. Nothing adds some character to cabinets quite like cute handles and ornaments! To keep your kitchen’s feng shui in check, choose handles that go with the rest of your theme, whether that be sleek and modern or vintage and old-fashioned. You can also buy assorted cabinet handles and pulls at any Power Build store and mix and match for a unique, eclectic look.

Step 6: Reattach doors

Using the screwdriver and set of screws you saved from when you removed the doors; simply reattach the doors. If you have drawers inside your cabinets, reattach those first so you can ensure you don’t scratch any of the paint or stain on the newly painted doors.

And there you have it!


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